How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

lawsuit emotional damages, slander, loss income? ex- husband

Customer Question

lawsuit emotional damages, slander, loss income?

ex- husband illegal accessed my computer and stole a letter from diary (Judge acknowledge stolen in court), letter given to Child services; kids taken away, used letter to get restraining order against me, defend myself in Family and Child Services court; both courts have ruled in my favor with restraining order against him now.

He has Shown document to my friends and professional network, hurt my chance getting a hi paying job as been stay at home mom last 6yrs.

lawsuit emotional damages, slander, loss income?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am genuinely sorry to hear that this took place. Defamation claims and other damages are typically time sensitive. How long ago did this take place? I ask to find out whether or not you may or may not be out of time even if you could have grounds for suit. Please advise.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

4mths ago this started and court just ruled favor last Friday

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

this occurred about 4 mths ago, the family court just in my favor last week, child services about 3 weeks ago,

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Jean. Please allow me to explain each of those terms that you brought up and see what may and what may not be possible.

To claim defamation, either as slander (oral) or as libel (written), you need to prove 4 factors:
1. A defamatory (untrue) statement
2. Of or concerning the plaintiff
3. Communicated to third parties AND
4. Damages, specifically financial damages (generally emotional damages do not count in this cause of action).

Truth is the ultimate defense. If what he is showing is true, there is no defamation. It is irrelevant if he stole the information or obtained it fairly, if what he is showing is actually true, you cannot file suit for this cause of action.

What you can instead consider is a suit for invasion of privacy, specifically on the basis of 'public disclosure of private facts'. This involves showing that the public disclosure of what is essentially private information must be 'objectionable to a reasonable person' of ordinary sensibilities. Here, liability may atach even if he can claim that he has a first amendment right to show the information to third parties.

Seeking a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is likewise unlikely. To prove "IIED" you must show that the behavior was so extreme and outrageous that any reasonable person would consider it to be improper. Plus, there must be intent or recklessness and a causation that would create damages, in this case 'severe emotional damages'. Severity must be extreme--for example there must be a medical record showing a change in bodily health or an adverse side effect. For example if someone is told inappropriate information and suffers a stroke due to the information, then that would be considered 'extreme' and 'severe'. Being told information that makes someone cry for a day or two is likely not enough to be deemed 'severe'. I am only providing this as a basis that the courts utilize, not to minimize anyone's suffering. But at least so far I do not see enough to claim that this would be a viable cause of action.

What you may instead want to consider is filing suit for harassment. That may permit you damages. In addition there may be a suit for tortious interference with business relationship, which could allow you to seek loss of income and opportunity loss.

Good luck.

Related Legal Questions